Quick chat: With John Densmore

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Drummer John Densmore and the other surviving members of the Doors, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger, team with Skrillex on Re:Generation Music Project.


Doors drummer John Densmore was part of the psychedelic revolution in rock. Now as part of the Re:Generation Music Project, Densmore and bandmates Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger are redefining music again with Grammy-lauded dancenik Skrillex. Densmore, 67, discussed the 24-year-old Skrillex, early electronic music and the Doors’ first gig in San Francisco with Pop & Hiss.

Why did you want to get involved with Skrillex in the Re:Generation Music Project?

I told my son, “I’ve never heard of a Skrillex, what the hell is that?” And he said, “Dad, you’ve got to do that, you’ve got to get his autograph, and if you don’t I won’t speak to you.”

What was your first meeting like?

I thought he was a strange-looking little, cute guy. I asked him for his autograph, and he said, “My dad would like yours.” That was an interesting exchange.

What did you think of his music?

I was into Stockhausen electronic classical music in the ’50s so I get the electronic scene.

Skrillex’s innovative sound is pretty divisive in the music world. Was that a similar reaction to the Doors’ first shows?

We went to play the Fillmore in San Francisco for the first time, and the audience up there, even though they were our peers, they just stared at us. They didn’t even applaud. It was like we landed from Mars.

Do you feel that electronic music has any similarities to jazz or punk or any other iconoclastic music?

It’s pushing the boundaries. Time will tell, but it’s not going to take over.


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--Drew Tewksbury